EppsNet Archive: Music

Teaching Computer Science: You Just Got to Really Want To

I’m volunteering a couple mornings a week in a high school computer science class . . . “Does anyone recognize this gentleman?” No one does. “Any pianists in the class?” About 5 kids raise their hands. “Do you ever go to YouTube and watch videos of pieces that you’re trying to learn?” Yes, they do. “Ok, this is Vladimir Horowitz.” Last time around, no one was able to identify Martha Graham. “I always know the name after you say it though,” one girl says. “Well, there’s more to life than technology, kids. There’s music, art, dance, literature . . . all these things help blow the dust off our ordinary existence. “I’ll get back to Horowitz in a minute. Last time I was here, I heard a conversation about how hard is it to go to college as a CS major. “I have some good news and bad news. I’ll… Read more →

A Close Encounter with Burt Reynolds’ Legacy

I’m having dinner at a Japanese restaurant . . . in the booth behind me are a couple straight out of Sons of Anarchy. The man is about 45, large, with a shaved head, tattoos and a motorcycle jacket. Same description for the woman, except for the shaved head. Her jacket is emblazoned with PROPERTY OF TROG (or FROG or ????, couldn’t make it out clearly), which I assume is the name of either a motorcycle gang or the gentleman sitting across from her. Midway through the meal, Trog wonders aloud if Smokey and the Bandit is available on Netflix. To his chagrin, the movie doesn’t seem to register with his girlfriend, so to jog her memory, he pulls up the “Eastbound and Down” song on his phone and plays it loudly enough to be heard by everyone in the vicinity. He then launches into an analysis of the film… Read more →

Randy Newman at the Hollywood Bowl

Great show . . . he’s 74 years old and doesn’t walk so well from the wings to the piano but he can still play, sing, tell stories, and he has a song catalog that few can equal. I put the set list into Spotify and included it here. Read more →

End of the World Poll

Musical question: What is a good song to play when the nukes start falling? We’ll Meet Again What a Wonderful World Eve of Destruction We’ll All Go Together When We Go Always Look on the Bright Side of Life Clair de Lune Something short Read more →

I Was in the House When the House Burned Down

I may be old and I may be bent
But I had the money till it all got spent
I had the money till they made me pay
Then I had the sense to be on my way
I had to stay in the underground
I was in the house when the house burned down

I Wish I Was the Moon

No pills for what I fear
This is crazy
I wish I was the moon tonight

Fish and Whistle

Father forgive us for what we must do You forgive us and we’ll forgive you We’ll forgive each other till we both turn blue And we’ll whistle and go fishing in heaven — John Prine, “Fish and Whistle” Read more →

Foot of Pride

Yeah, from the stage they’ll be tryin’ to get water outta rocks A whore will pass the hat, collect a hundred grand and say thanks They like to take all this money from sin, build big universities to study in Sing “Amazing Grace” all the way to the Swiss banks Well, there ain’t no goin’ back when your foot of pride come down Ain’t no goin’ back — Bob Dylan, “Foot of Pride” Read more →

Say One More Stupid Thing to Me

Sing me one more song, about you love me to the moon and the stranger And your fall by the sword love affair with Errol Flynn In these times of compassion when conformity’s in fashion Say one more stupid thing to me before the final nail is driven in. — Bob Dylan, “Foot of Pride” Read more →

Rhapsody

I am glad daylong for the gift of song,      For time and change and sorrow; For the sunset wings and the world-end things      Which hang on the edge of to-morrow. I am glad for my heart whose gates apart      Are the entrance-place of wonders, Where dreams come in from the rush and din      Like sheep from the rains and thunders. — William Stanley Braithwaite, “Rhapsody” Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: When You Need Help, Ask For Help

I’m volunteering a couple mornings a week at a local high school, helping out with computer science classes. It’s a mixed class . . . most of the students are taking AP Computer Science Principles, and about 10 kids just recently started a second-semester Visual Basic class. The VB kids were pretty inquisitive at first but started to get discouraged . . . in my opinion because of the way the material is presented to them via an online curriculum. The current approach to teaching computer science in American schools, because of the shortage of (I almost said “lack of”) qualified teachers is to use packaged courses delivered to students online. My observation is students assume that because they’ve been put in front of a computer full of lessons, they’re expected to be able to read and understand the material and complete the assignments on their own with no help.… Read more →

Fernando and Barbara Ann

I got an email today from a guy named Fernando and I can’t get the song out of my mind . . . Can you hear the drums, Fernando? There was something in the air that night The stars were bright, Fernando. I would not want to have a name that reminds people of a song that they immediately start singing to me my whole life. Like Jude. Or Barbara Ann. Barbara Ann would be a bad name to have . . . Read more →

Neil Diamond Retires From Touring

Neil Diamond Announces Retirement From Touring After Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosis — Variety Sorry to hear this . . . as a young person I had the Hot August Night live album on an 8-track tape and I played it till it wore out . . . Read more →

The end of a melody is not its goal: but nonetheless, had the melody not reached its end it would not have reached its goal either. — Nietzsche

Christmas In New Orleans

French Quarter French Quarter – Cafe du Monde French Quarter – Preservation Hall French Quarter – Bourbon Street Lafayette Cemetery #1 VooDoo BBQ Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (Biloxi, MS) Read more →

People I Thought Were Dead

Herb Alpert – trumpeter Max Baer Jr. – actor, “The Beverly Hillbillies” Barbara Bain – actress, “Mission: Impossible” Brigitte Bardot – actress Rona Barrett – gossip columnist Frank Borman – astronaut Roy Clark – musician Roger Corman – film producer Robert Crumb – cartoonist Bill Daily – actor Vic Damone – singer Angie Dickinson – actress Annette and Cecile Dionne – quintuplets Sam Donaldson – TV newscaster Hugh Downs – TV announcer Daniel Ellsberg – released the Pentagon Papers Barbara Feldon – actress Fannie Flagg – actress and game show panelist Larry Flynt – publisher of Hustler Whitey Ford – baseball pitcher A.J. Foyt – auto racer Ron Gallela – celebrity photographer, aka “paparazzo” Whitey Herzog – baseball manager Ernest Hollings – U.S. senator Cloris Leachman – actress Tom Lehrer – musical satirist Jerry Lee Lewis – singer and pianist G. Gordon Liddy – Watergate mastermind Rich Little – impressionist Peter Max… Read more →

The Emperor’s New Clothes

I see plenty of clothes that I like But I won’t go anywhere nice for a while All I want to do is just sit here And write it all down and rest for a while   Read more →

Fats Domino, 1928-2017

Ain’t that a shame . . . Read more →

Wild Wild Life

Sleeping on the interstate oh oh oh Getting wild, wild life Checkin’ in, checkin’ out! Uh, huh! I got a wild, wild life Spending all of my money and time oh oh oh Done too much wild, wild We want to go, where we go, where we go oh oh oh I doing wild, wild life Read more →

What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?

As I walk through This wicked world Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity. I ask myself Is all hope lost? Is there only pain and hatred, and misery? Read more →

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